Dear Prime Minister,
We welcome your apparent commitment to guaranteeing unilaterally the rights and status of EU27 citizens in the UK irrespective of the way the UK may leave the EU.
These rights include the right to vote and stand in local government elections, including district and county council elections, the GLA, city mayors, police and crime commissioners as well as the devolved assemblies and are anchored in UK law.
EU27 citizens have spent three years living in limbo. They have been exposed to the hostile environment deliberately engendered by your predecessor. In many cases they were involuntarily disenfranchised at the European elections that took place on 23 May.
It is time that the Government sent a clear, positive message to EU27 citizens that they are welcome in the UK, that their contribution is valued and that they have a role to play in our communities.
That is why we call on you to make clear your Government will not take steps to strip EU27 citizens of their current entitlement to vote and stand in elections in the UK.
Your Government should in fact go further. It should take steps to actively promote voter registration by EU27 citizens in time for next year’s local elections.
In Scotland, EU27 citizens will retain the franchise because it is a devolved responsibility.
It would be shameful if the UK government were to remove the franchise from EU27 citizens in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and we ask you once again to confirm that you have no plans to do so.
Dr Ruvi Ziegler, Chair, New Europeans UK
To add your name to the letter, click here